We’re quite fond of X-mini’s original Evolve 2 speaker headphones, as NXT was actually the first publication in the world to review them back in early 2016! Two years later and the Singaporean audio maker has finally released an update to the rather unique speaker headphone combination, and like the original it’s a pretty good combination.
Like the original product, the Evolve 2 is a hybrid wireless speaker headphone, in that it has both an internal and external speaker built into each earpiece. The logic being that with the Evolve 2, you can not only listen to your music privately as a pair of headphones, but when you want to share your tunes with your friends, just flick a switch and the sound instantly switches from the headphone speakers to the external stereo speakers.
Compared to the original Evolve headphones, X-mini have come up with a significantly updated design with slimmer earpieces that somewhat disguise the external speakers behind a grille pattern, and the earpieces now swivel forward by 90 degrees to get a good stereo effect. The earpieces sit pretty comfortably with cushioned memory foam pads wrapped in leather that also provide passive noise isolation.
The Evolve 2 comes with aptX codec for improved Bluetooth audio quality, so you enjoy excellent quality music. To test it out we tried it out with Birdy’s The A Team and Thundercloud by LSD (Labyrinth, Sia, Diplo). With The A Team, an emotive live piano rendition of Ed Sheeran’s hit song, the Evolve 2 actually did a pretty decent job in presenting Birdy’s soaring vocals in both headphone and speaker mode, though the piano tones seemed slightly muddled. With Thundercloud, the song sounds much more bassy in headphone mode, and a bit thin in speaker mode.
The X-mini Volove 2 isn’t the best sounding wireless headphones or bluetooth stereo speakers we’ve heard, but as its both in one we reckon it’s quite decent, especially for its price and versatility.